Wise reports 33% revenue growth amid CEO investigation

By Amelia Isaacs on Tuesday 28 June 2022

Digital Banking

The payments company saw a seven per cent increase in profit to £43.9m.

Wise reports 33% revenue growth amid CEO investigation
Image source: Kristo Käärmann/Wise.

Releasing its first annual results as a publicly listed company, Wise has shared that its revenue grew by one-third to £555.9m in the 12 months up until the end of March 2022.

In a financial review on the company’s website, CFO Matt Briers outlined the company’s highs and lows over the period.

The review comes just a day after it was revealed that the Financial Conduct Authority is investigating co-founder and CEO Kristo Käärmann for deliberately failing to pay his taxes, with the company taking on its own investigation it says.

The company now has more than seven million active personal customers and 410,000 active business customers, with personal customers growing at 24 per cent and business at 34 per cent over FY21.

It processed 40 per cent more payments over the year before, hitting more than £76bn and saw volume grow faster than the growth in the number of customers, reflecting an increase in average volume per customer.

This comes as it brought the Wise account to Brazil and Malaysia, started the Wise Card in Canada and also launched its investment product Assets in the UK over the past year.

“In an increasingly fractured world, the need for borderless international banking has never been greater,” Käärmann said in his own post on the news.

“That’s why one year into our life as a public company, we will continue to say that the number we really care about is the amount people and businesses lost to hidden fees.”

The company, founded in 2011 to “fix banking for international people” now moves 3.5 per cent of all personal money that crosses borders, Käärmann said.

Despite dropping prices, the company generated £371.9m gross profit, a 43 per cent increase on the previous year (£260.5m).

The company continued to grow in size as well, as the number of Wise employees increased by c.950 to a total of almost 3,400.

It saw a 7 per cent increase in profit in FY22 compared to FY21 from £41.1m to £43.9m, and as of the end of March held £7.2bn in cash and “highly liquid investment grade assets”, up 76 per cent from £4.1bn at the end of FY21.

This specifically includes £6.8bn of customer deposits, up from £3.7bn at the end of FY21, and also includes £357.8m of the company’s “own cash”, up from £286.1m at the end of FY21.

Briers said the company is “well capitalised” for the future, and as of the end of March the eligible capital of £242.5m was “significantly above” its capital requirement.

It expects revenue to grow by 30 to 35 per cent for FY23 as a result of positive trends from FY22 carrying through to the beginning of the financial year.

“We’re growing fast at scale, and profitable,” Briers said.

“Last year was notable for our listing, but the work we do to continue to build our business cannot and will not stop,” he added.

“We have, as to be expected, work to do to continue to develop our controls, processes and operations so that we can move money around the world instantly, for everyone.”

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